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NJBIA Vice President Mike Wallace talks about the need to close the skills gap at the Securing Our Children's Future Bond Act press conference

NJBIA Vice President Mike Wallace talks about the need to close the skills gap at the Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act press conference

NJBIA today joined with Senate President Stephen Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, and a host of legislators and business groups urging voters to approve the Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act (Question No. 1) on Nov. 6. The bonds would benefit vocational-technical schools.

Voter approval will provide $350 million for much-needed expansion of career and technical education, labs and classrooms at county vocational-technical schools, as well as enhanced security at New Jersey schools. Another $50 million will go toward career and technical education projects at county colleges.

NJBIA believes vocational-technical schools are a critical tool in filling the pipeline of skilled workers for the future and is urging its members to vote ‘Yes’ on Public Question No. 1.

“The referendum will help fill a critical skills gap that is leaving good-paying jobs unfilled and will better satisfy the growing demand for career and technical education,” said NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka. “Voter approval will help  curb outmigration of young adults, strengthen our workforce pipeline and help our companies expand in-state. New Jersey will get a strong return on its investment if we vote yes on Question No. 1.”

Demand is already growing for the educational opportunities vocational-technical schools provide because they can provide careers that do not require a four-year college degree and the student-loan debt that comes with it.

While vocational-technical schools are able to provide students with the necessary skills, they do not have the resources to meet the demand. In 2017, New Jersey county vocational-technical schools had to turn away nearly 17,000 applicants because there was not enough capacity at these schools to teach them.

The bond act will help address that shortfall.

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